Not sure how much there is to say but my curiosity is how they are going to get the business accounts fully functional? Like a lot of small business owners, I have a personal profile online as well as that of my company. EAv now have business accounts but you can’t link to things such as FB, G+ and LinkedIn pages as you first need to link to a profile which, of course, is already in use.
Dups, for reasons I can’t discern, makes it tough to understand the future direction of Empire Avenue. When he is pressed, he sends folks to EA’s Corporate Page: http://corp.empireavenue.com/ I have read this enough times to be certain that I am completely clueless about what it actually means and puzzled why he won’t share a clear vision. I end up believing that actions are generally better predictors of the future than promises; so here are my wild speculations.
Specifically Adrian, I believe that the difficulty of creating a personal versus a business presence on EA relates to the fact that the site is more organically grown rather than working some development plan. Dups has admitted as much when he talks about getting away from his original vision. EA just keeps getting surprised and struggles to react.
EA has removed several of the ‘game’ aspects of the site with an effort to streamline and make it more business friendly. Premium Accounts provide eaves to minimize the need for companies to spend time investing. To everyone that I talk with, EA has become significantly less fun. Efforts to engage the EA staff about this issue have been fruitless. I think Dups thinks there isn’t any money in the game of EA.
That leads me to believe that EA is trying to become a business tool instead of a game. I see a couple of problems that stand in the way. The user community of EA is tiny. Kevin provided some interesting numbers to verify this recently. With such a small number of folks entering & even fewer staying around, EA is just not that interesting to most businesses. The other issue is targeting. Trying to find and mobilize EA’ers that fit your niche is almost impossible; unless you are in the MLM game. I worry that the high level of sketchiness in the EA community might be off putting to businesses also. Despite EA’s assertions, I don’t find much evidence that “the most respected social media profiles and companies from around the world” gather here. To be a truly effective tool EA must quickly gather a critical mass; both in quality and quantity.
Back to Adrian’s quandary, I think the issue of connecting networks to accounts is problematic; because of folks who game the system by moving networks between their various accounts. That behavior makes it tough to have a great solution for folks with legitimate needs. I suspect that as EA continues to deprecate the stock market part of their site, the issue of networks connected to accounts becomes less important.